Spanish Conquistadors and the Fall of Aztec Tenochtitlan

The Spanish saw nothing of value in the indigenous culture and set out to systematically destroy everything that had no monetary value. Introduction The Fall of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, came about through the manipulation of local factions and divisions by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. Though numerous battles were fought between the[…]

Tenochca: A History of Aztec Civilization

Aztec civilization sustained millions of people and developed over thousands of years isolated from European and Asian cultures. Introduction The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican people of central Mexico in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. They were a civilization with a rich cultural heritage whose capital, Tenochtitlan, rivaled the greatest cities of Europe in size[…]

South to Freedom: Slave Routes to Mexico on the Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad didn’t just head North – also led to Mexico. The Underground Railroad also ran south—not back toward slave-owning states but away from them to Mexico, which began to restrict slavery in the 1820s and finally abolished it in 1829, some thirty-four years before Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. This may be history, but[…]

The Codices: Insight into Aztec Culture

The tlacuilo (codex painter) tradition endured the transition to colonial culture. Introduction Aztec codices (singular codex) are books written by pre-Columbian and colonial-era Aztecs. These codices provide some of the best primary sources for Aztec culture. The pre-Columbian codices differ from European codices in that they are largely pictorial; they were not meant to symbolize[…]

Thriving in the Valley: A History of Aztec Civilization

Aztec culture had complex mythological and religious traditions. Introduction The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican people of central Mexico in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries. They were a civilization with a rich cultural heritage whose capital, Tenochtitlan, rivaled the greatest cities of Europe in size and grandeur. The nucleus of the Aztec Empire was the[…]

Adapting to the New World: Mexico at the Outset of the Cold War, 1946-1952

Examining Mexico’s international strategy of economic development in these turbulent years. Introduction: Latin America’s Development Strategies versus Washington’s Cold War Policies This article is aimed at analyzing Mexico’s attempts to overcome the obstacles that the new international context, shaped by the end of World War II (WWII) and the beginning of the Cold War, posed[…]

Classical Architecture in Viceregal Mexico

In the sixteenth century, cities were considered to embody an ideal of sophisticated and refined living. The Renaissance – Not Just in Italy The term “renaissance” generally invokes images of Italian cities, buildings, and artworks, rather than images of American ones. However, the renaissance had tremendous repercussions on the American continents, and its influence can[…]

The Spanish Conquest Of Mexico, 500 Years Later

The history of the Spanish and Aztecs is still strikingly visible in the center of Mexico City. By James Fredrick Five-hundred years ago, two men met and changed much of the world forever. About 500 Spanish conquistadors — ragged from skirmishes, a massacre of an indigenous village and a hike between massive volcanoes — couldn’t[…]

Sor Juana, Founding Mother of Mexican Literature

How a 17th-century nun wrote poetry, dramas, and comedies that took on the inequities and double standards women faced in society. By Matthew Wills From a convent in New Spain, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz became one of the leading lights of the Spanish Baroque’s golden age. A scholar, poet, playwright, philosopher, and composer, in[…]

The Remarkable History of the Union League Club

There were moments in our history where both African-American freedom and Mexico’s independence were addressed in a positive way. By Dr. Michael HoganHistorian and Author Today, as we observe the dismay of Princeton students at their university’s legacy of slavery, and the Trump administration’s increasingly hostile attitude toward Mexico, it is important to recognize that[…]

Perspectives on the Mexican Revolution

What social conditions contributed to the revolution? How did the United States seek to influence events in Mexico? Introduction The Mexican Revolution began quietly on November 20, 1910, when Francisco I. Madero issued a manifesto calling for the overthrow of the military dictator Porfirio Diaz who had ruled the country for three decades. Madero had[…]

Porfirio Díaz: Tyranny of the Few in Mexico at the Turn of the 20th Century

The elite few benefited at the cost of the many until his overthrow and exile. Introduction José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori (September 15, 1830 – July 2, 1915) was a Mexican-American War volunteer, French Intervention hero, and President. He ruled Mexico from 1876 to 1880, and from 1884 to 1911. After a distinguished military career, Díaz parted company[…]

The Fourth Skull: A Tale of Authenticity and Fraud

This is a story of four different skulls that reached three of the world’s largest museums under less than transparent circumstances. By Dr. Jane MacLaren Walsh and Dr. David HuntWalsh: Anthropologist Emeritus, Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural HistoryHunt: Professional Lecturer in Anthropology, George Washington University Introduction This is a story of four different skulls that[…]

Emperors, Gods, and Foreign Invaders of the Aztec Empire

Moctezuma I expanded the Aztec Empire beyond the Valley of Mexico by constantly waging war. Introduction As the city of Tenochtitlán grew, the Aztec fought for dominance over other city-states in the area. In 1428 CE, Tenochtitlán formed a Triple Alliance with the cities of Texcoco and Tlacopan in the Valley of Mexico.These three cities[…]

Tenochtitlán: Aztec City on the Water’s Edge

The Aztec empire existed more than 500 years after the Maya abandoned their great inland city-states. Introduction Did you know that the modern capital of Mexico, Mexico City, was built on top of another city? If you visit Mexico City today, you can see archaeologists at work.They are busy uncovering the ancient city of Tenochtitlán.[…]